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Video Spa
Dimensions vary (in a space of 1050 x 548 cm)
Video installation

Krisna Murti

Krisna Murti was born in 1957 and is currently living and working in Bandung, Indonesia. He studied at the Faculty of Art and Design in Bandung Institute of Technology (1976 – 1981). His solo exhibitions include: “Video spa”, video installation, in Gaya Fusion of Senses Gallery, Ubud, Bali (2005) and in the National Gallery, Jakarta (2004); “WayangMachine”, video installation (5 projections), Japan Foundation, Jakarta and Centre Culturel Français, Yogyakarta (2002); “boo it yourSELF”, a sound/video installation at the National Gallery, Jakarta (2000); and “Foodstuffs Are Ethnic, Never Racist”, a video installation at the Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta (1999).

Urbanity is a reflection of modern civilization. The modern life relies on efficiency, practicality, and productivity. On the one hand, it produces physical successes and comfort; on the other, it marginalizes the society's social roles and neglects the fulfilling of peace and happiness. Space and time turn to be economical discourses outside human's body. Cafés, malls, exhibition rooms, political parties, televisions, stock exchanges, and body treatment centers have now become the new ritual spaces that are thought to replace religious ones.

Basically Video Spa is more than a mere video installation involving the participants in real interactions. The work is a video therapy for the urban society. SPAs (Solus Per Aqua—treatment with water) among the urban people become new ritual institutions. Video Spa celebrates the new rites fulfilling the needs of our lifestyle and pleasure, and asks the audience to travel to the world of beauty and happiness, which are notably important in art and religion. Video Spa is an extensification of physical therapy through the skin (scrubbing and massage), taste (the traditional herbal drinks), and smell (aroma therapy); adding to it “massages” through sight and sound. Video Spa functions as a therapy using the methods and procedures of the usual spa, combined with religious rites, and asks the audience to travel back-and-forth to the world of reality – dream, pleasure – happiness, lifestyle – artistic expression, fiction – facts, or place – placeless. The urban society needs a time and space for their own and travel to the world of the impossibles. Video Spa is created to become a retreat room or a sanctuary amid the busy and distressing urban life.

The spa idea began from my dream in 2003 to make a video on heaven. I stopped for several months in making the heaven-work, until I accidentally bump into the SPA idea. Apparently, spa is a reflection of human's longing to present paradise on the Earth. Strangely enough, heaven and spa are based on the same substance: Water! So, if today Video Spa is presented amid the urbanscape today, will it become merely a utopian project? (Artist's Statement)

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